Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Equal Than You


Muhammad Rasheed - "The concept of white privilege implies the right to assume the universality of one's own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal."  (Source)

I want to test this one in battle. I know a lot of my debate partners who scoff at the concept of 'white privilege.' I wonder if they will admit that they consider the 'white way' to being the 'normal way?'
Do you get offended at the idea of a brown crayon labeled "Flesh?" Tell me how that would make you feel, please.


Catherine Mattijetz - i will answer this way: i saw an article with a headline of a biracial star who stated that bathing every day was a "white people thing." the headline was "Star X reveals her very interesting bathing habits."

i was offended by that. as a white person, i wondered why the article didnt state that the startlet made an interesting point about the differences in our racial culture. or that she highlighted the overuse of soaps in our society. why was her bathing routine called into question simply because white people typically bathe every day and that is what is supposedly considered the "normal" way?

Muhammad Rasheed - I consider that a side step of the topic. I remember that article you're talking about and thought that woman was crazy. My family bathes everyday; I have no idea what she was going on about.

Muhammad Rasheed - What was your first reaction at the idea of a brown crayon labeled "Flesh?"

Muhammad Rasheed - From a "mainstream" crayon company?

Catherine Mattijetz - it wouldnt bother me, but i think that by now it would likely be confusing.

Muhammad Rasheed - It would "confuse" you? interesting. [takes notes]

Catherine Mattijetz - i grew up with the color "flesh" being a peachy color. i guess it would be generational.

Andre Owens - Catherine, the actress who said that is Naya Rivera, she's Latino. Not Bi-racial.

Muhammad Rasheed - I grew up looking at that "peachy" color feeling angry inside.

Nurah Rasheed - I come across this so often when the discussion is on casting for movie adaptions of books. If you suggest any actor for a role that isn't white you will get bombarded with comments demanding justification and extensive reasoning for daring to suggest someone of a different race. And even when someone drew fan art of the trio from Harry Potter, but they depicted Hermione as black. White people immediately demanded "canonical evidence" to support the character being non-white. Like it's inconceivable and forbidden - even in a fan adaption - unless it is spelled out explicitly in the text. But even when it is - like when Rue was portrayed by a black girl in the Hunger Games - there is still upset.

Devin Murphy - (I'd be interested to discuss with you via email or messenger, but I'm trying to minimize posting/commenting on specific political things because I want to keep my views fairly private.)

Bill O'Neal - The crayon thing? Not only doesn't it offend me... I'd find it a bit refreshing... but I'm *weird*.

I grew up in a part of Indiana where there were no black people. None. Zip. White rural county in the 1970s with corn, white people, corn, and more corn (some pigs too.) 

My father was a teacher in a bigger city the next county over. He taught in a school where there were some black people. My dad was killed in a car accident when I was 15 and my mom is gone too now... so I can't ask them about their mindset. I don't know if they made some conscious effort to make me (and my only brother-- also gone now) understand about racism. I just vaguely remember when Martin Luther King Jr was killed (I was 7 at the time) and that vague memory is all mixed up with the equally vague memory of RFK getting killed that same year. I remember everyone being upset and being clued to the TV but that's about it.

What I do know is we had a foreign exchange student come from Kenya. He didn't stay with us in our home but visited us on the farm and stayed a few days a couple different times. He was black, of course. And to *me*... as a *kid*... what I found more unusual than his dark skin tone was his *name*. His first name was Green. Middle name Jack. A person from his same village also came here (we have a religious college here in town) and his first name was Monday. My recollection is probably wrong but my memory is that the story was they came from a part of Kenya where when the baby was born, it was named based on something the parents saw in that moment... which explains Green, kinda, but not really Monday. 

Interesting accent too. He seemed *exotic*, I guess, especially being he was from Africa.

That was, like, my only real experience with black people growing up.

But I was *acutely* aware that Indiana was a hotbed of racism. KKK stronghold here. In high school, I was on the speech team and the original speech I had my senior year was called "Under the Sheets" and it was about the long history of racism in Indiana.

As to "scoffing at the notion of white privilege"-- I certainly don't scoff at it! I'm as white as bleached sheets; all my childhood friends are Caspers too (not to mention, of course, all my relatives present and past); and I know a *lot* of people who I'd bet would be very offended by a brown crayon being labeled "flesh." (Not all- my best friend is married to a wonderful black lady-- but many of my friends from my past.) And I think there is some real fear, sometimes, at the core of that.

I mean: knowing that in America, white people will soon be in the minority, that is blessed prospect to me (weird guy). But it frightens a lot of people. It seems to *terrify* all the guys at FOX News.

*Really* interesting articles too, Muhammad. 

"Racism comes out of our pores as white people. It's who we are."

I don't know if that's completely true of *all* white people. But I also don't know that it's not! 

I wrote a short story a while back (that never saw the light of day) called President Boogeyman. To write it, I again researched the Klan. And boy... they sure don't talk the same talk they used to. Since racism isn't socially acceptable the way it once was... people aren't open about their racism. Instead, they just deny racism exists.... which is both devious and insidious.

The white way is definitely the right way, I'd say, in Indiana. The sooner that changes, the better... but it's not going to happen without a whole lot of kicking and screaming!

Long, rambling response. Sorry. My feelings on the subject are *complex.* 

Dan DeLyon - I found the concept of "Flesh" colored off anyway, since I was kinda jaundiced. It was right up there with Soul-Aids which (I kid you not) were generic bandaids that were dark brown in color.

Bill Jonke - I'm white, and I was labeled "different." What I'm trying to say here is that color has no difference. In the costuming industry, as well as life, the color of one's skin is infinite in variations. Years ago I would have killed to do an in depth research and procurement study on costuming materials for sheers, spandex and undergarments that would accommodate all flesh colors. I wanted to have discussions with people of all diversities and gather opinions and information from everyone. Naturally, they didn't have the time or the money for me to do it. That's Disney for you! Crayola would have to come out with a whole new set of colors for the word "flesh," they still couldn't do it accurately, and yes, the color they named was archaic and racist, even back then. I'm embarrassed about it.

Dan Bennett - Flesh crayons? I remember the first one I saw, because it was in the 64 crayon box, which my parents never bought because it was an unnecessary expense. I didn't know what "flesh" was supposed to mean, and the kid who owned the crayons said is was skin color. I tried it on a figure I was drawing and found that it didn't look like any skin color I'd ever seen at all, and declared it useless. "Skin color", to me, meant the color of white people's skin, because I'd never been around anyone of any other race. But I had noticed that there was a lot of variation in people's skin color (including my own, especially in the summer time with legs that were pale from the knees up and brown below), and the crayon didn't really seem much like any of them. I don't think brown would have shocked me much, although I expect I'd have seen black as a hilarious mistake. BTW, this was in the South back in the Jim Crow days, when there really was such a thing as "white privilege". I remember "White Only" and "Colored Waiting Room" signs. I remember being turned away from the zoo in Memphis because it was, according to the gatekeeper, "N****r Day" and therefore we weren't allowed in.

Tony Steed - Good article. I need to read more about it before forming a true opinion, because as black as I am. My dads mother is a white french woman, and the majority of the family is a mix of more than one ethnic group. I've seen frustrations on her face more times than I care to recall, so I can imagine what she and many of the lighter skinned family members went through.

Dave Stephens - There are infinite ways of defining what privilege is. I am privileged in countless ways for countless reasons, skin color among them. And in countless ways I am underprivileged, too. But between those uncountable ways, I remember most clearly the times I had been slighted... It's a frustrating and hugely unfair world, but there is a little bit of fairness in it, too, and it's better to add what fairness you can when you can than to growl about the unfairness that is endemic to all interactions...

Bill Jonke - You make an interesting point, Dave; in some ways, being underprivileged knows no discrimination. I too have had my share of being slighted, mostly in my younger years, and it's hard to shake that, but it's the negative attitude I had to shed for me ito compare that to the ways I was enriched. I've been strengthened by most of the negative impact, and it makes me realize what I DO have on a more positive level. My story is a long one.

Mark Needham - I'd be okay with a brown flesh crayon. That sort of pink-peach colour called flesh isn't a colour that y'actually see on any white folks.

Mark Needham - Maybe it's a regional thing? Like if you were marketing crayons to Chad or Mali, then you could try slapping "flesh" on one of the various browns and seeing how that worked out. 

I think that the pinkish crayon thing is one of those insidious cultural bombs that reinforces some nasty little prejudices. For a kid that's not the pinky peach colour, that must be a big slap in the face every day, y'know? If you're not this colour, you don't count as human. That's some cold shiat to teach.

Mark Needham - "The white way" is an awful broad brush to use. White people in Europe farking hate each other. Look at Yugoslavia. Belgium wants to become two countries. Scotland came within a hair's breadth of saying fark off to the whole United Kingdom. Ireland, Basques, the list goes on. It's more some waspy puritan white jesus manifest destiny bullshit. I don't got no cultural relation to that apart from 80% of a shared language.

Stephanie MacConaghy - It is true. The default is light-skinned Euro-American as normative.

Leonard Agoado - The default, for years, was light-skinned Northern European-Americans. None of those swarthy Italians or Greeks, or other less pure 'whites' counted.

Joseph Patrick - Let's not overlook Black Privilege. ;)

Stephanie MacConaghy - "I do less damage than I used to do." 

Startling, sad, and understandable.

George Ward - Joseph Patrick you're reaching, that's not a thing.

Stephen Serrianni - Joseph Please elaborate if you're talking about affirmative-action was intended to level the playing field (FAIL) its more a excuse. Lots of people can't wrap their head around the fact that A minority can be equally qualified so they use it as an excuse. "Hey look at the token who got the job I should've thank you affirmative action (not)...

Stephen Serrianni - George in some areas and circles it is becoming more of a thing disguised as a "We just call it looking out for our own!" mentality. Even though it's existed among other cultures and races for I don't know FOREVER! Lol

George Ward - Nationally (US) it's not really a thing. You'd also have to stretch to find examples of black privilege (not an example of a successful black person). Challenge: Give me 5 examples

Stephen Serrianni - I worked in several companies one of which our district manager sorted through a stack of resumes not only found four AKA's hired them but created a position for a fifth and hired them as well. Took the remainder and ordered them to be filed (toss em) I've also seen this done at a party with another situation very similar. HR manager in Los Angeles told a newly graduated acquaintance doesn't matter if you don't have the experience here's my card call me the beginning the week we look out for our own.

Stephen Serrianni - Just because it hasn't happened to you or anyone in your circle doesn't mean it's not there. I'm only one guy 25 years of work experience observing that type of bias on both sides of the fence. I've got one particular friend who is a director who make sure who's in front of the camera as well as who's behind the camera. I just did some work for him and he picked me over much more qualified artist to storyboard for him. I can't go into conversation too much but will say even though I've known him only for 2 1/2 years he said you're in the club now expect more attention soon. Everyone he's given my name to or introduced me to have been black both actors and directors. I will not name drop but he's killed the box office for a decade plus. Black Hollywood is there for a reason enough said.

Muhammad Rasheed - Nurah Rasheed wrote: “White people immediately demanded ‘canonical evidence’ to support the character being non-white. Like it's inconceivable and forbidden - even in a fan adaption - unless it is spelled out explicitly in the text. But even when it is - like when Rue was portrayed by a black girl in the Hunger Games – [they are] still upset.”

Also interesting. It would appear that when they get the idea of a Caucasian depiction of a character in their head, they become genuinely offended at casting another race in the role, regardless of whether the character’s creator intended him/her as another race or not. I would like to probe into that concept more and understand the mindset behind it.

Muhammad Rasheed - Bill O'Neal wrote: “The crayon thing? Not only doesn't it offend me... I'd find it a bit refreshing... but I'm *weird*.”

I consider the idea that a race feels itself to be the default normal of the human species to be weird. It’s sad that the concept has to be in a “refreshing” frame of mind when it should actually be the norm. 

Bill O'Neal wrote: “He seemed *exotic*, I guess, especially being he was from Africa. That was, like, my only real experience with black people growing up.”

Then he was definitely exotic despite his national origin. I had a similar experience growing up. The average Black American doesn’t seem to understand just how unique the experience of growing up in a “chocolate city” really is. Growing up in Detroit, MI in which I very rarely encountered whites during my younger years, made them very exotic to me, too, when I met them in college and actually encountered them regularly. I don’t think the average Black American in the country really knows what that is like, and is why their rap on certain specific items can come across strange (and sometimes EXTRA brainwashed) on some topics to me.

Bill O'Neal wrote: “As to ‘scoffing at the notion of white privilege’-- I certainly don't scoff at it!”

*shrug* You aren’t one of my regular debate partners I was actually directing that line towards. I’m a little disappointed the usual suspects didn’t show up, but there is enough material provided by these here contributors to spark a juicy enough discussion. 

Bill O'Neal wrote: “…and I know a *lot* of people who I'd bet would be very offended by a brown crayon being labeled ‘flesh.’ And I think there is some real fear, sometimes, at the core of that.”

I actually got a chill crawl up my spine at that last sentence, it representing a confirmation to a working theory of mine. I’m pleased that I’ve already made back my investment funds by accepting your Friend Request, Bill. lol

Personally I believe the full secret of the essence of racism itself is locked within that concept. I wish to break it open and pull the creature out – squirming and spitting – to dash it against the rocks of Truth. Such is my end goal. Or at least to help lay the foundation for others to do so.

Bill O'Neal wrote: “’Racism comes out of our pores as white people. It's who we are.’ I don't know if that's completely true of *all* white people.”

For those who do not think that way, Bill, I want to know how it is they have achieved that state. Not an easy thing it is to throw off the yokes of the damage caused by the heritage of American Racism, and both of our people have been damaged by it for sure. Who are these American whites who believe they walk free beyond the reach of the psychological issues saturated throughout our greater national culture?

Muhammad Rasheed - Bill Jonke wrote: “What I'm trying to say here is that color has no difference.”

Far atop our highest, noblest ideals this is indeed true. Unfortunately America has by no means achieved that state, and because of the continued cloying stench of racism, “color” very much makes a difference in our society. People are regularly discriminated against along racial lines; our communities set up slanted towards the race of the traditional white elitists in such a way, that even the poor lower classes take it for granted that to be ‘white’ is inherently ‘better.’ A concept supported on the institutional level as clerks and bureaucrats routinely make subjective choices from this same poisoned well.

Muhammad Rasheed - Dan Bennett wrote: “‘Skin color,’ to me, meant the color of white people's skin, because I'd never been around anyone of any other race.”

This makes sense from a child’s point of view, of course. 

Dan Bennett wrote: “But I had noticed that there was a lot of variation in people's skin color (including my own, especially in the summer time with legs that were pale from the knees up and brown below), and the crayon didn't really seem much like any of them.”

Is this an expression of an artist’s sensibilities? When reading the Sunday Comics pages, did you think it odd that the crayon-like “peachy” color was used for the skin of Caucasian cartoons? Do you remember wondering why the artists didn’t use the same variety you noted in real life for skin coloring? I grew up as a fan of the newspaper funnies, as well as Silver Age Marvel Comics, where one tone was used for “white skin,” and a single brown tone was used for “black skin.” Considering this was the norm in printed work for much longer than my own time period, how do you remember that striking you, Dan? 

Dan Bennett wrote: “I don't think brown would have shocked me much…”

What about when you were older? High school?

Dan Bennett wrote: “…although I expect I'd have seen black as a hilarious mistake.”

VERY “hilarious” I’m sure considering you remember the jim crow era. The local cartoons of the time were probably EXTRA “hilarious,” amIright?

Dan Bennett wrote: “BTW, this was in the South back in the Jim Crow days, when there really was such a thing as ‘white privilege.’”

You admit to me you do not believe the concept of ‘white privilege’ exists anymore. Tell me why, please. What do you use to support this opinion?

Dan Bennett wrote: “I remember ‘White Only’ and ‘Colored Waiting Room’ signs. I remember being turned away from the zoo in Memphis because it was, according to the gatekeeper, ‘N****r Day’ and therefore we weren't allowed in.” 

My dad grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and he told us about that special day set aside for my people during fair season. If the fair was in town for a week, then our day was the last day of that week, where most of the “good rides” were now packed up, most of the food vendors closed. The prices of everything remaining were doubled, and possibly even tripled (he’s no longer around where I can confirm). Truly the gatekeeper was doing you a favor; you should’ve got there earlier in the week when you could’ve had a really good time. I’m sure being turned away from the zoo because it was “N****r Day’ gave those jim crow era cartoons EXTRA hilarity, hm?

Eric C. Martin - Well, now that I'm an artist, I reject the idea of ANY crayon labeled "flesh". When I was a kid, you don't think of these things. 

Hard to say what the "normal" way is. I look as caucasian as can be, but my mother's side of the family is Mexican.

Muhammad Rasheed - Eric C. Martin wrote: "When I was a kid, you don't think of these things."

I did. Perhaps only a certain demographics’ kids didn't think about those things because of the forcefield of privilege surrounding them.

Muhammad Rasheed - Dave Stephens wrote: “There are infinite ways of defining what privilege is.”

I’m not sure if you are expressing what you really mean by this. On the surface, it sounds like you are treating the word ‘privilege’ like a magical glyph, where everyone has their own equally valid definition of the term. Similar to how various women’s magazines define the word ‘love.’ Or the way deeply bigoted and hateful people treat the word “racism” when they hear it. 

I think what you are actually saying is that there are many different types of privilege within our society, that many different categories of people benefit from over others, and perhaps you are irritated that ‘white privilege’ is being harped upon as a thing beyond those others you’ve identified. Is this an accurate summary?

Dave Stephens wrote: “It's a frustrating and hugely unfair world, but there is a little bit of fairness in it, too, and it's better to add what fairness you can when you can than to growl about the unfairness that is endemic to all interactions...”

lol Dave, you are asking me to “get over it” and accept a 100% man-made, and man-enforced concept that is 100% reversible. Along with some other items, laws and the consistent enforcement of those laws can train the populace to finally help put racism behind us. Between the two of our groups, one of us experiences a benefit from American racism in the form of a privilege, while the other does not. You should know – and I share this with you freely and without malice – that when a member of the privileged group tells a member of the other group that they should just accept the unfairness and get over it, it doesn’t come across they way he imagines it does, even when expressed from a position of genuine goodwill and imagined helpfulness.

Muhammad Rasheed - Devin Murphy wrote: “(I'd be interested to discuss with you via email or messenger, but I'm trying to minimize posting/commenting on specific political things because I want to keep my views fairly private.)”

I’m interested of course, but since this is one of my pet topics, I would be afraid that the proposed private discussion would prove so full of fascinating insights & juicy revelations, that it would be impossible for me to resist the temptation to share it with the public, thus threatening a valuable new friendship.

So I will have to pass.  :)

Muhammad Rasheed - Bill Jonke wrote: “You make an interesting point, Dave; in some ways, being underprivileged knows no discrimination. I too have had my share of being slighted…”

Considering that the thread topic is specifically asking members of a certain privileged class their thoughts on how they would view a symbolic attempt to remove that privilege, this attempt from Bill to deflect from the topic altogether can reasonably be used as an answer to the question, I would think. Seen from that light it speaks volumes, just not in the way Bill may have originally intended. 

Yes, in “some ways” certain types of underprivileged circumstances very well may be divorced from discrimination, but why is that relevant here during a discussion in which the focus is on a specific type of privilege that absolutely is connected to discrimination? 

Tell me if this is a deliberate attempt to derail an uncomfortable thread topic into a different subject, or if was a subconscious defensive reaction, please.

Muhammad Rasheed - Mark Needham wrote: “’The white way’ is an awful broad brush to use.”

Technically, this is very true. Yet we live in a society in which that very broad brush was used to create an elitist group composed of all those who legally met the physical description of “white.”

Mark Needham wrote: “White people in Europe farking hate each other.”
Different tribes war against each other among every ethnic group on earth; the Europeans were certainly no exception. There’s a regular war going on between the socio-economic classes as well.

Mark Needham wrote: “Look at Yugoslavia. Belgium wants to become two countries. Scotland came within a hair's breadth of saying fark off to the whole United Kingdom. Ireland, Basques, the list goes on. It's more some waspy puritan white jesus manifest destiny bullshit.”

That’s just a piece thrown into the pot. They’ve warred with each other long before Christianity came on the scene.

Muhammad Rasheed - Stephanie MacConaghy wrote: “It is true. The default is light-skinned Euro-American as normative.”

Leonard Agoado wrote: “The default, for years, was light-skinned Northern European-Americans.”

Is this a societal observation as to how the nation functions, or your personal thoughts regarding the way it actually is? Do you believe the white-skinned Euro-ethnic person is the ‘default normal’ human of planet earth, and everyone else are “other?”

Muhammad Rasheed - Joseph Patrick wrote: “Let's not overlook Black Privilege.”

I’ve had conversations over the concept of ‘black privilege.’ The discussion sessions revealed that it is a fiction, coming from a sensitive defensive position afraid that white privilege may be taken away in an inevitable payback. The latest effort to prove ‘black privilege’ came in the form of claiming that the Rev. Al Sharpton avoided jail time over unpaid taxes because he was black, comparing it to Al Capone serving time for it. Convinced that their ‘black privilege’ myth was true, my opponents ignored items that should’ve been obvious to people who pretended to know the back story of both of the figures they were comparing.

Another item often used to prove ‘black privilege’ is the broken liberal policy of ‘affirmative action.’ This highly controversial policy is well-documented to be a complete failure, absolutely NOT helping elevate the people it was originally intended to help.  It was supposed to be a way for the government to partner with businesses in order to help move the poor citizens from traditionally disenfranchised groups up the socio-economic ladder by hiring them for certain positions. The problem is that businesses would take on all the risk x2 for hiring inexperienced lower class workers. If I hire you under the affirmative action program, and you don’t live up to your side of the employer/employee agreement precisely because you are inexperienced and lack basic job training, not only do I take on the risks to my business for hiring someone not qualified to be there, but if I fire you because you don’t work out at all, I will face the political vitriol that comes with giving up on a highly public political item. Because of this, businesses cheat, and instead of hiring under-qualified blacks to attempt to lift them up, they hire qualified or over-qualified blacks, strictly looking out for their own bottom line while meeting the diversity quota part of affirmative action’s most minimum requirement. Meanwhile misinformed opponents of the policy are ignorant of the fact that businesses aren’t using the policy the way it was intended to be used and think it is ‘black privilege’ in action.

Muhammad Rasheed - Stephen Serrianni wrote: “George in some areas and circles it is becoming more of a thing disguised as a ‘We just call it looking out for our own!’ mentality. […] I worked in several companies one of which our district manager sorted through a stack of resumes not only found four AKA's hired them […]I just did some work for him and he picked me over much more qualified artist to storyboard for him.”

Can these reasonably be described as ‘black privilege in action?’ I must echo George’s opinion of that being a stretch. Individual’s reaching leadership positions and favoring members of their own group isn’t ‘black privilege,’ it is ‘that guy’s privilege.’ Similar to affirmative action in its own way, that practice is only on the level of specific individuals trying to do their part to balance a whole system that is fundamentally slanted in the direction of the white race group, and by definition is a makeup measure to weakly attempt to fix a broken system in which they very much lack privilege. In an analogy, it’s like if only whites were allowed to be treated in hospitals, so to make up for it, a few blacks who learned first aid techniques in the now disbanded Negro Boy Scouts provided first aid to ONLY other blacks, and whites calling it ‘black privilege.’ lol How is that weak effort by a few people to do their part to help in any way a privilege when the entire society is slanted in giving the other guy the top stuff just because he’s white?

And it certainly wouldn’t count when the members of a specific organization show preference to other members of that organization. Even other blacks have to actually BE members of the AKA group to receive that benefit, so how could you realistically consider that a ‘black privilege? The members just happen to be black, but it’s really all about that membership into the org.
Stephen Serrianni - I see where you and George come from it before the PC label of White Privilege was thrown around they Southerners and others in a position to promote, influence, and make decisions referred to it with the very same words. With in the infrastructure many other groups and exclusive society's have gained their own strength and influences. You don't have to be a member of AKA you can be a relative or associate or close friend I also witnessed firsthand several times in 01. Remember privilege just means a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. So is it a stretch when a organization reached out to recruit among a specific race acknowledging you will be required to honor certain request from time to time including excluding others outside racial demographic?

Muhammad Rasheed - @ Stephen… Within the mainstream American culture, the Black American is the only ethnic group without a strong economic base composed of his people having independent economic control of their own community that makes up a part of the greater pie. We USED to have this, before we gave it up when the integration era began. Now we are free floating, relying on the communities of other groups to provide our needs in grocery, automobiles, etc. Organizations like AKA don’t represent a part of a greater dominant Black Power Bloc, the way their white counterparts function within the white mainstream. Those black groups are independent islands, not a link in a strong black chain of the type that Booker T. Washington envisioned for us so long ago. If it was I could agree with you on this, but tiny, baby-level versions of a specialized and isolated type of ‘privilege’ can’t be said to be able to balance the scale. So when it is brought up this way it serves as more of a distraction from the subject, and seems like an attempt to prove that a weak band-aid measure concept is every bit as powerful and pervasive in this society as ‘white privilege,’ and this is not the case.

Yes, the term privilege does “just” mean a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. It’s a general term when used that way, and can be applied to many specific items that qualify. “White privilege” by contrast is a very specific concept, and it represents one side of the Institutionalized Racism coin’s fruit.

Stephen Serrianni - Thanks for sharing and educating with your insight. Black privilege exists and yes will never equal its counterpart. You speak of it being a small isolated group. The wealthy only make up 3.6%of America yet it is their position which allows them to stay in control. A huge majority of which are members of society's, fraternities, and sororities. If you look at our most influential black leaders, CEO's, judges, politician, and professionals many are members of these isolated islands. Out of the 290,000 Members of Alpha Phi Alpha alone include JamaicanPrime Minister and Rhodes ScholarNorman Manley, Nobel Prize winner Martin Luther King, Jr., U.S. Vice PresidentHubert Humphrey, OlympianJesse Owens, former JusticeThurgood Marshall, former United NationsAmbassadorAndrew Young, and former AtlantaMayorMaynard Jackson, former Washington, DCMayor, Marion Barry, and former DetroitMayorKwame Kilpatrick. I admit groups like Masons, Freemasons, and 5 major fraternities who were founded between 1906 and 1963 – Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta – and four sororities – Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho – have lost their luster and prominence. To date there are 18 Black fraternities and 11 Sororities with members all over the world... Lots of islands that exist its just a matter of who uses or abuses their position in the name of balancing the playing field.

Muhammad Rasheed - Stephen Serrianni wrote: “Thanks for sharing and educating with your insight. Black privilege exists and yes will never equal its counterpart.”

Give an example of a scenario in which ‘black privilege’ continues on beyond an individual inside of a mainstream institution, or beyond the perks and clout of an exclusive, cliquish organization. If it doesn’t, I find it difficult to take it seriously as such. 

Stephen Serrianni wrote: “You speak of it being a small isolated group.”

Yes, specifically because these groups don’t function within a solidified Black American power bloc, but as independent entities. Unlike the Jews and Latin ethnic groups, for example. 

Stephen Serrianni wrote: “The wealthy only make up 3.6%of America yet it is their position which allows them to stay in control.”

Stephen this is classism alone that you describe. Compare that to how ‘white privilege’ functions, where even the poorest among that group receive built-in societal benefits by virtue of their racial heritage within a society that is designed to uphold that heritage over all others. “Black privilege” is a fiction inside of that world. Like Dave and Bill mentioned above, you can find members among the black community favoring each other along other lines of privileges – organizational privilege, wealth privileges, educational privileges – but by no means can that realistically be considered “black privilege.” 

Stephen Serrianni wrote: “Lots of islands that exist its just a matter of who uses or abuses their position in the name of balancing the playing field.”

I would think that first the Black American would have to pull together and build up an eclectic independent system that is successful enough that whites would prefer to live and work within it in sufficient numbers that it could reasonably be considered to compete with other ethnic power blocs. Only then would there be such a thing as “black privilege.” But a black man in a leadership position within the white man’s empire? It’s certainly a form of privilege if he uses that position to benefit his own people, but it isn’t “black privilege.” How can it be? You gave up your own in order to integrate into his world. How would it be a privilege to be black? No one cares about you.

This is on the same level of seriousness as those who consider the Black Panther Party to be every bit as dangerous and wrong as the Klu Klux Klan, despite the former not having any record of savage terrorist attacks against whites leading to numerous homicides and wholesale massacres over centuries.

Stephen Serrianni - LOL

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Saving the Thief on the Cross


Muhammad Rasheed - @Michael Daniels..... Question. Let’s say that the Jesus/thief dialog on the crosses really happened the way “Luke” said it did, and let's compare it to the Christ’s instruction to the rich man using your ‘presumables’ from this thread regarding special circumstances in lifespan at the time each man was told what they were told. For all intents and purposes, even factoring out any special prophetic insight the Christ may have used, what he told the thief still functioned like a “hook up.” It seems to me that it should be reasonable to conclude to anyone that the gift he gave that man during unusual circumstances would not apply to the average believer, and that for you, the instructions to the rich man would be the normal operating best practice as a follower of the Christ.

What are your thoughts on this? 

Michael Daniels - Mo Said "What are your thoughts on this?"

Okay, I have a little time. Let's look at both scenarios within their context, because in my opinion the passages really do compliment each other and drive home the same point from practically oppoite perspectives. Both passages can be found in Luke.

First, the rich young ruler:

Luke 18:18-29 

18 A ruler asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 
19 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God.
20 You know the commandments: 

Do not commit adultery; 
do not murder; 
do not steal; 
do not bear false witness; 
honor your father and mother.”

21 “I have kept all these from my youth,” he said. 
22 When Jesus heard this, He told him, “You still lack one thing: Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 
23 After he heard this, he became extremely sad, because he was very rich. 
24 Seeing that he became sad, Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 
26 Those who heard this asked, “Then who can be saved?” 
27 He replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” 
28 Then Peter said, “Look, we have left what we had and followed You.” 
29 So He said to them, “I assure you: There is no one who has left a house, wife or brothers, parents or children because of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more at this time, and eternal life in the age to come.” 

Based on your suppositions, that if your good works outweigh your bad work you're in, this guy should have been a shoe in for paradise. Clearly if he was being honest he had done everything necessary for a Jew to be saved based on what was known up to that point. But it's clear Jesus wanted a deeper commitment. Good works were not sufficient for the eternal salvation He would soon be the instrument of. Jesus wanted faith in and devotion to Him. He didn't want anyone or anything to get between the believer and his Lord...especially money. Jesus final point makes it clear that the key to salvation is not the part about selling his stuff (although the rich young ruler was certainly tripped up by that) but to unconditionally follow Him. Jesus wanted the man's heart and money got in the way.

(Thief on the cross to come soon.)

Michael Daniels - As promised......  

Luke 23: 32-43

32 Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with Him. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided His clothes and cast lots. 
35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine
37 and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 
38 An inscription was above Him:  THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 
39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!” 
40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment?
41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me[l] when You come into Your kingdom!” 
43 And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.” 

Everybody was piling on Jesus at this point. Their were a few sympathetic people in the crowd, but let's face it they weren't being vocal at all for fear they might be punished similarly....The religious leaders are mocking Him the soldiers were divviing up His clothes, and the criminals with Him were't cutting Him any slack either...except one. This one guy, despite being in excrutiating pain and being in the midst of dying an agonizing death in his own right took the time to tand up for Jesus...In terms of his salvation he did three things. 

1) Acknowledged he was a sinner. 
2) Established the righteousness of Jesus/God 
3) Submitted himself to Jesus as King.

These are the three essential elements of Christian salvation and he satisfied them all. I don't see this as a deathbed conversion, by the way. Clearly this man had encuntered Jesus before because he knew so much about the Man and His Message. At some point prior a seed of faith had been planted and because of the providence of God it bloomed to full fruition right there on the cross. If Jesus were looking for hearts he clearly had this guy's hook, line, and sinker. It wa no fluke, or special "hook up", it was a genuine profession of faith in the Son of God and Jesus accepted it as such. It was worth more than all the evilness the thief had committed in his lifetime. 

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael Daniels wrote: “Based on your suppositions…” 

The message of God is as follows: 1.) Believe in Him, 2.) resist evil, 3.) do good. 

Michael Daniels wrote: “…that if your good works outweigh your bad work you're in, this guy should have been a shoe in for paradise. Clearly if he was being honest he had done everything necessary for a Jew to be saved based on what was known up to that point.” 

According to the passages you posted, the rich man had kept the commandments in the name of God, therefore he satisfied the requirements for #s 1 and 2. You say he had done everything necessary, but Jesus said that he still lacked one more thing.

Michael Daniels wrote: “But it's clear Jesus wanted a deeper commitment. Good works were not sufficient for the eternal salvation He would soon be the instrument of.”

According to the passage you posted, Jesus said that the guy now still needed to perform good works by the giving away of his stuff in charity, and only then would he “have his treasures in heaven.” If he obeyed these instructions he would be following the Christ. 

Michael Daniels wrote: “1) Acknowledged he was a sinner 2) Established the righteousness of Jesus/God 3) Submitted himself to Jesus as King. These are the three essential elements of Christian salvation and he satisfied them all.”

Jesus’ instruction to the rich man showed definitively that there was more to it than that, which returns me to my original question. Within our previous discussion, you acknowledged the fundamentally different circumstances regarding expected lifespan for these two figures here. Between the two of them, the rich man represented the average man, under average circumstances, and the instructions to him represented what Jesus expected from all those who followed him. Those instructions were precise, exact, unambiguous.  

For the man on the cross, what do we know of him based on what he said? In his first line it was clear that he already believed in God. In his second line he acknowledged that he was being justly punished for the things he had done, and in the context of the times where someone who believed in God (and recognized the Hebrew’s Messiah when he saw him) also believed in “eye for an eye,” it is clear that the things he had done were pretty heinous if he considered crucifixion to be a just punishment for them. As I analyze this, I’m beginning to change my mind regarding what the “thief on the cross” story represents. For someone who was a believer, who was being crucified for crimes he knew were bad enough to deserve crucifixion, under what circumstances would he expect the Messiah to remember him when he came into the Kingdom? There is only one reasonable circumstance in which that would make sense: 

The thief had repented of his crimes while he sat in prison awaiting punishment, and at the point we met him, believed that his soul was in right standing with God.

THAT is why Jesus assured him that he would be in paradise, because he was okay. He already believed, he had repented of his sins, and his good works were heavy. As an added bonus he acknowledged Jesus' mission as being legit.

I withdraw my original question. Thank you for your time. I always learn something new when we talk. You’re the best, Deac. Enjoy your holiday.

See Also:


Only Us - The Protestant Monopoly on Forgiveness & Salvation


Kamau Mkafele Mshale - [shared meme]

Camille Campbell-Johnson - I do believe some of this is true. But for myself, I don't know what my African spirituality is or where I am from. I would like to learn. I think that Black folks don't understand their history cause it has always been taboo to seek the past other than world religion. ijs

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Here's a question for you. What benefit is it to know of a spirituality that cannot offer forgiveness of sin, redemption and eternal life? Just because we are "African American" does not obligate us to be beholden to that which is foreign to us. As a Christian the only use in knowing other religions is to be able to effectively evangelize, other than that it's just information that has no bearing on my life.

Iman Olujimi - Bless up!!! All religion ah Afrikan!!! I and I Jah Rastafari.!!! One love...

Kimberly Moseberry - Christianity was and is built on sin and being cruel. Yes there are African beliefs that speak on love, respect and forgiveness.

Militant Mosby - I know plenty of Africans who don't talk about it either.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - i didn't realize people would comment but i guess that make sense given the topic. I, like Camille Campbell-Johnson don't know what my my ancestors believed, or who exactly they were. and I had the test done. They told me my people are Tuareg, but that really doesn't tell me everything and from what i've learned about dna testing in that reguards, thats not even the whole story.
I don't think (despite the tone of the text) it's meant to be an indictment, i think it's more of an observation and challenge. Black people only know about the religions of our captors, Warren Eugene Merrick III i don't know much about Coptic Christianity, but i do know the version of Christ most people in america including african americans know is white, and hes not white cause the bible says so, he white because some white guy painted him that way. I think more black people even if they have chosen Christianity or Islam should seek to understand the roots of religion and of the religions of there people. I'm also going to do a black jesus, mary and child and some other biblical figures at some point gotta read more about them first

Kimberly Moseberry - Warren if I were stupid and blind. I'd whole heartedly believe you.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - calm down kim warrens a good dude. people just believe what they believe. it's impossible to argue religion. its just about what you think is true.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Kimberly you are mistaken, Christianity is built on Christ and his love, he demonstrated that love in dying to pay the penalty of our sin. I'm not talking about a religion that teaches about love and forgiveness, I'm talking about a savior that offers love and forgiveness. No other religion can offer that thereby making them empty and dead.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - thats all believe though warren. in effect alll religions offer that, they just use different words. Practitioners of Islam would say the same of Christianity.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - The implication Kimberly being that I'm stupid and blind?
Kamau, I'm aware of the history of the church, though it should be noted that it was the Catholic church that concocted that image of Jesus, I know he was a man of color.

Kimberly Moseberry - All religious beliefs offer love and forgiveness.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - I've actually studied other religions, even Islam; what differentiates Christianity from the rest is that they are works based, it is up to the practitioner of the religion to earn salvation. In Christianity all one must do it's repent and believe, all the doing, all the work was done by Christ, hence his saying before he died "It is finished". There is no more to be done, nothing that can be added, we only need believe.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - But none of them can guarantee salvation, look it up for yourself, they make no definite claims that you'll gain heaven. So all the observances of ritual mean nothing, also forgiveness is not offered, forgiveness is talked about. All the other religions offer is behavior modification for sin but no deliverance from it.

Iman Olujimi - La illah ha Lila Lah. Say it and your in...heaven, that is. Alhamdulillah!! Research shows the African origins of Islam. ..just makes sense geographically

Iman Olujimi - And...the tuareg were/ are Muslim so I'm good

Muhammad Rasheed - Ancestral Voices wrote: "Black folk can tell you about every religion under the sun, but too scared to talk about their own African spirituality."

My religion is DEEPLY personal, and is directly related to my concern for my eternal soul's salvation. My knowledge of religion is not a mere idle academic exercise, but the side effect of a very serious shopping effort to make sure I picked the best one for me. In my research the phrase "African spirituality" is divorced from the worship of the One God who made me, and is one of the many references for paganism, which is the very last thing my soul needs to prosper.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "I've actually studied other religions, even Islam; what differentiates Christianity from the rest is that they are works based, it is up to the practitioner of the religion to earn salvation."

The original version of the Christian message as taught by the Christ, and later by his younger brother and hand-picked heir, was also works based. "Faith without works is dead." If your actions do not reflect your belief in God, then you do not believe despite what you claim.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "In Christianity all one must do it's repent and believe, all the doing, all the work was done by Christ, hence his saying before he died 'It is finished.'"

When the rich man asked the Christ what must he do to be saved, the messenger told him two things: Keep the commandments, and to give of his wealth in charity. That's Islam's exact message.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "There is no more to be done, nothing that can be added, we only need believe."

You need to both believe in your Guardian Lord who made you, and obey Him. The obedience involves resisting the temptations of sin, and doing good works. The very best good works for your soul is the giving of your wealth in charity, so said the Christ you claim to follow.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "But none of them can guarantee salvation, look it up for yourself, they make no definite claims that you'll gain heaven."

We are all assured of paradise if we do what the Lord commands.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "So all the observances of ritual mean nothing..."

The rituals strengthen your discipline and make it easier to keep the commandments and give of your wealth to the needy. There is no good in a religion without its ritual.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "...also forgiveness is not offered, forgiveness is talked about."

Forgiveness is given after sincere repentance.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "All the other religions offer is behavior modification for sin but no deliverance from it."

Repentance is both "behavior modification" and deliverance.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - You've taken a great deal of what I said out of context. Yes faith without works is dead, but the thief on the cross next to Christ that asked Him to remember him when Christ came into His kingdom had no works and yet Jesus said to him "Today you shall be with me in paradise." Nothing we do earns our salvation, we obey because we have been given a new spirit and because we love He who has saved us.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "You've taken a great deal of what I said out of context."

Which?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "Yes faith without works is dead..."

Of course it is.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "...but the thief on the cross next to Christ that asked Him to remember him when Christ came into His kingdom had no works and yet Jesus said to him "Today you shall be with me in paradise.'"

It was also a story that was simply made up by the evangelist's speech that it was based upon, obvious in how it contradicts what Jesus said to the rich man, as well as the works based message of James' book.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "Nothing we do earns our salvation..."

Our obedience to the commands of our Lord we worship earns our salvation. That is the sole criterion that separates the believer from the hellbound.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "...we obey because we have been given a new spirit and because we love He who has saved us."

We obey because we recognize the Lord's message as True.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - On what authority do you say that the thief on the cross story is a lie, what evidence do you have to support this blasphemy?

Muhammad Rasheed - Exactly what I said. It directly contradicts what Jesus told the rich man, as well as the Jamesian message that Jesus himself propagated. The bible itself is my evidence, and the message of the One God of Abraham is my authority.

Iman Olujimi - Eh ha ha ha ha!!! No win here. Yall need to stop. To you be your way to me be mine

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Tell me, I'm curious, are you Muslim or some form of Christian?

Muhammad Rasheed - The fact that you consider a challenge to the dialog on the cross to be "blasphemous" is telling, and suggests that you feel the same way about the Christ's instruction to the rich man as the rich man himself. That is NOT good. If you care about the ultimate fate of your soul, you need to seriously reevaluate.

O you who believe! Obey your Guardian Lord who made you and keep His commandments! If you truly believe, then in your wealth is a recognized right for the needy; give to them in charity so that you may prosper!

Muhammad Rasheed - This the only way to salvation.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - i agree with my mom .... that speaks volumes

Warren Eugene Merrick III - You didn't answer my question, and you'd do well not to presume to think you know what I think. Are you Muslim or are you a Christian?

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - is that a question for me or muhammad? i'm neither

Warren Eugene Merrick III - A question for Muhammad.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "You didn't answer my question..."

And you didn't address a single Item I brought up in my posts. That makes us even, I guess.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "...and you'd do well not to presume to think you know what I think."

That's cute. Especially considering there's quite a few posts here in which you've taken the time to explain exactly what you think, so I fail to see how presumption was necessary. You've revealed a very typical protestant-based form of Christianity, with an uncritical eye in your scriptural readings, if you've bothered to read the book at all (I suspect you are satisfied with letting the pastor spoon feed it to you). Before you say stuff like you've studied Islam and other faiths, try actually knowing what you're talking about before you start mouthing off about those faiths. Oh, and it'll help if you get a better grasp on what you're supposed to believe, too. That will make the discussion deeper and more interesting.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "A question for Muhammad."

I'm far more interested in pursuing the topic at hand. Nonsense misdirection questions are a waste of my time.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - So what is the argument here? That christianity is what will save us? or Islam? Or are we just picking at the deeply held beliefs of people i consider friends for fun. Because if it's the latter exercise some self control on MY damn facebook page. Take that shit to a private convo and you can argue with each other all you want. Neither of YOU want to spend time talking about the African origin of anything so it's ALL off topic. If anything the two of you are just proofing the meme right.

Muhammad Rasheed - I was disappointed that no African spiritualists came to discuss it.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - yea me too

Muhammad Rasheed - *nods*

You need more African spiritualist friends, Mshale.

Muhammad Rasheed - lol

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - clearly M clearly.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - u coming to ECBACC?

Muhammad Rasheed - No, I'll still be in Kuwait. It'll probably be another couple of years before I can attend again.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - how long u gonna be out there?

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "So what is the argument here?"

Well, between me and Warren, I'm challenging him based on his stated research on Islam and other faiths regarding his claim that only his form of Christianity offers forgiveness and salvation. Notice that he's trying to squirm out of the topic. The discussion isn't personal since I don't know him, it's just a knowledge versus knowledge battle.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "Neither of YOU want to spend time talking about the African origin of anything so it's ALL off topic."

My very first post addressed the thread topic, and even holds a bit of bait for any African spiritualists who read it, but none have challenged me yet. I can wait (as long as you don't delete the thread because of me and Warren's battle).

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "how long u gonna be out there?"

Probably until 2016, but we'll see.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - just keep your "battle" civil and don't insult each other. I like debate and discussion but to be honest neither of you can win theres no end to it. But if its entertaining for ya knock yourselves out. I personally don't fight battles i can't win if i have another option.

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "just keep your "battle" civil and don't insult each other."

I promise.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "I like debate and discussion but to be honest neither of you can win theres no end to it. I personally don't fight battles i can't win if i have another option."

Ah, but I am winning. I've addressed all of his points while he's conspicuously failed to address any of mine. Instead he's attempting to build a strawman by asking me whether I'm Muslim or Christian as if that has anything to do with the topic at hand. Classic misdirection because he knows I'm right, but doesn't want to admit it and lose face.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "But if its entertaining for ya knock yourselves out."

You know me better than that, Ishmiel.

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "So what is the argument here? That christianity is what will save us? or Islam?"

Either one if you do them right.

Michael Daniels - @Mo....You do realize that Jesus gave that instruction to the Jewish Prince well before he died right? Before Jesus gave his life that was the essence of the Jewish faith. When He spoke to the theif on the cross both their deaths were iminent therefore He was able to offer (for the first time) the new covenant where His death paid the price for the believer's sin. The Death of Jesus on the cross changed everything. It was a paradigm shift of epic proportions.

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael Daniels wrote: "The Death of Jesus on the cross changed everything. It was a paradigm shift of epic proportions."

So says who? You do realize that doctrine directly contradicts exactly what the Christ preached in his lifetime, right? What did the other three gospel writers have to say about that cross dialog?

Muhammad Rasheed - Like Warren, you too seem over-eager to dismiss the Christ's precise instruction to the rich man in favor of this ambiguous, deeply suspicious, after-the-fact cross dialog doctrine.

Michael Daniels - Says Jesus Himself..."I am the Way, The Truth, and The Life...Now man may reach the Father except through me"----Jesus the Messiah

Muhammad Rasheed - Who packaged the cross dialog into the doctrine you and Warren have your death grip upon? And why are you favoring that over his precise and perspicuous instruction to the rich man?

Michael Daniels - I don't dismiss anything Jesus said....It was in perfect harmony with what He said on the cross...Just different circumstances of the recipient.

Muhammad Rasheed - How was that in perfect harmony? Explain, please.

Michael Daniels - The Jewish prince had a (presumedly) long life ahead of him. Jesus wanted him to accept Him as His Lord. The theif on the cross had presumably already done by his words acknowleging Jesus as the Christ....it was th same message just different circumstances....Written down by the same person btw.

Muhammad Rasheed - Your "perfect harmony" explanation possesses an awful lot of "presumablies" and guesses there, chief.

Michael Daniels - Presumably the rich prince had a long life ahead of him...That was Jesus' presumption not mine...Take it up with Him, He's still alive. THe other presumably was that the theif had accepted Jesus...THe Bible tells us it's not for us to question someone's heart, that's God's job.

Muhammad Rasheed - His instruction to the rich man was precise, non wishy-washy, and lined up with the rest of scripture. The dialog on the cross was very suspect, especially in light of the other gospel writer accounts. Not to mention what Christian scholarship has to say about the authorship of the gospels.

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael Daniels wrote: "Presumably the rich prince had a long life ahead of him...That was Jesus' presumption not mine..."

You are subscribing your own presumption-filled explanation to Jesus? How does that work?

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael Daniels wrote: "THe Bible tells us it's not for us to question someone's heart, that's God's job."

I wouldn't consider it a questioning of the man's heart considering the evidence as I'm laying it out before you suggests that Jesus probably didn't even tell him that.

Michael Daniels - His proclamation to the theif was direct and absolute...For you to say it was wishy washy reveals your pagan, Islamic biases. "Christian scolarship" like any so-called scholarship is a relative term...All the Christian scholars that matter accept Luke a s the author of the book of Luke and attest to its reliability...You can find a so-called "scholar" to say anything.

Jesus said the rich man should sell his stuff and follow Him. THere's an inherent assumption within that request that the Prince would be alive to follow through with it.

You've presented no evidence whatsoever that Luke was in error.

Moses Mullins - Many people seek to say the Bible contains errors. Prior to attacking the Bible they should look at the work of Josh McDowell. As an atheist, he sought to disprove the Bible. He produced a series called "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". I invite anyone's documentation disproving those books.

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael Daniels wrote: "His proclamation to the theif was direct and absolute..."

The fact that it contradicts the message throughout the rest of scripture says someone just made it up and stuck it in there.

Michael Daniels wrote: "For you to say it was wishy washy..."

Building a whole doctrine around it that contradicts everything the Christ said up to that point, is pretty wishy-washy, especially since the messenger himself didn't give it to you as a new doctrine (why is "new doctrine" coming from Jesus suddenly familiar to me...?).

Michael Daniels wrote: "reveals your pagan, Islamic biases."

Is the One God of Abraham suddenly a pagan deity, O Christian? You love building up evidence against yourself for the angels to record, don't you? Have a care.

Michael Daniels wrote: "'Christian scolarship' like any so-called scholarship is a relative term...All the Christian scholars that matter..."

hahahahaha You are no Christian scholar. You wouldn't know one if he bit you.

Michael Daniels wrote: "...accept Luke a s the author of the book of Luke and attest to its reliability...You can find a so-called "scholar" to say anything."

All of the official Christian scholars who actually compile and edit the bible itself say it is foolish to believe the four gospels were actually writ by the men whose names they bear. You do not know scholarship.

Michael Daniels wrote: "Jesus said the rich man should sell his stuff and follow Him. THere's an inherent assumption within that request that the Prince would be alive to follow through with it."

If he would've said "Yes, master" and turned around to do it and dropped dead with the intention still on his heart, he would've been saved. If he spent the next 60 years fretting and trying to find a loophole around it he would not have been saved. Jesus' instruction was clear.

Michael Daniels wrote: "You've presented no evidence whatsoever that Luke was in error."

lol Sure.

Muhammad Rasheed - FROM WIKI - "[Josh] McDowell claims that the 'evidence for Christianity in the Scriptures is not exhaustive, but it is sufficient.'"

Sure, if you already believe in the pauline doctrine. Like Michael and Warren you'll see what you want to see in it based on that belief. I'm pretty dismissive of Paul's version of the message because it is a blasphemy. There is no proof of its legitimacy.

Michael Daniels - If he would said "Yes, master" and turned around to do it and dropped dead with the intention still on his heart, he would've been saved. If he spent the next 60 years fretting and trying to find a loophole around it he would not have been saved. Jesus' instruction was clear.

Agreed, which lines up perfectly with Jesus' reading of the heart of the theif on the cross next to Him.

Muhammad Rasheed - Unfortunately the thief had no intention of doing anything since he was stuck on the tree.

Michael Daniels - He had already done something...He stuck up for and believed in Jesus.

Muhammad Rasheed - Perhaps the mercy of the Lord saved him, but considering what the other gospel writer said about the same event, "Luke's" version was probably a fiction invented by an evangelist.

Moses Mullins - Actually when I was recruited to a lucrative position in the NOI, I searched for a reason to leave Christianity. But after deep study and analysis I chose not to do so. I still have many friends that are either Islamic or in the Nation. One thing is is true on all fronts, the individual believer must live with the actions of the body, good or bad.

Muhammad Rasheed - Moses Mullins wrote: "...the individual believer must live with the actions of the body..."

Explain.

Moses Mullins - It is somewhat different with Christianity than Islam. Islam has two primary divisions while Christianity has two primary divisions with the Protestant half containing multiple denominations.

However there are things done (past & present) by some denominations in the name of Christianity that Christ and many members of that denomination would abhor. I would imagine that it is the same on the Islamic side. Many Imans have condemned some of the violence ordered by other Imans.

However, while I have not researched the accuracy of certain texts listing references in the Koran requiring some troubling actions, if they are true, I would have a hard time viewing most of my Islamic friends obeying those requirements.

Just as I would have a hard time viewing some of my catholic friends obeying some of the dictates of the older papal bulls that have not been revoked.

What I mean is that individuals experience and act on their religion on a personal level. But the body in which they hold membership is subject to human error and excesses. Not to mention internal politics, empire building and misguidance by the enemy.

The individual believer generally does not renounce their membership in their body as a protest against the errors of their leaders. It would seem to hold true even more in Islam as you can't just chose a different division. A Shi'te does not change to a Sunni or one of the smaller branches if they disagree with the policies of the Iman that is the head of the Shi'te or Sunni branch.
Correct me if I am wrong in that belief or do not understand fully how the branches are governed.

Muhammad Rasheed - The message is designed to function on the individual level. The believers coming together to function as a community is secondary. All the items you've listed as flaws take part on the individual level as individual choices... a component of our Free Will. The message of God is for me as an individual. It is divine and is designed to show me how to act so I may save my soul. The bylaws, mission statements, constitutions, etc., of the organization are separate from the message itself and are designed to help the collective body work better as a unit. It's okay to move from organization to organization looking for a body that has their act together, but I fail to see the worth in abandoning the message itself because some folk in the political body aren't acting right. What has that to do with your soul and your walk on the Path?

I will not be judged by God based on what someone else decided to do on their walk. I will only be judged based on my own understanding of scripture and how I walked out my religion based on that understanding. The point of coming together as a body of believers is to strengthen and support each other in our individual walks in the faith.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Muhammad, you mentioned the story of the rich man and Jesus, yet you jumped in at the middle, you forgot the beginning and the end thus taking its entirety out of context. Yes Jesus told him to keep the commandments and sell all he had, but you fail to see what it was that caused Jesus to tell him to sell all he had. The rich young ruler said that he had kept all of the commandments, he sought to justify himself, then Christ told him to sell all he had and give to the poor. Jesus then told his disciples that it was easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. The rich man trusted in his wealth, had he done as Jesus told him, it would have demonstrated his faith which is what would have given him eternal life. Faith, not works.

Muhammad Rasheed - 1.) Rich man asked Jesus what he needed to do to be saved.
2.) Jesus told him to keep the commandments.
3.) Rich man said he had already been doing that.
4.) Jesus told him to now spend of his wealth in charity.

Those were the things he needed to do to be saved. He already believed in God, that's why he 'd been keeping the commandments in the first place, which also met the requirement of resisting the temptations of sin. All he had left to do was good works, i.e., charity, then he would've met the full requirement as instructed by the Christ himself.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - You said that Christianity is works based, yet scripture says that we "are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God not of works so that no one may boast." Yes I agree as the Bible say s that faith without works is dead, but the works do not save anyone, the works are the evidence of faith, they don't produce faith. I then gave the example of the thief on the cross, to which you said it was a made up story. From where do you get that? You then said that our obedience earns our salvation, but nowhere is that said in scripture, in fact it is repeatedly stated that salvation is a gift. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Acts 16:31 "So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Romans 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." These say nothing of "earning" salvation, all that is required faith...like the thief on the cross next to Christ on the cross. You imply that I'm like the rich man which couldn't be further from the truth, not that it's any of your concern but I give what little I have to the poor on a regular basis, but it doesn't add one bit to my salvation. One of the main reasons I do good works is because we are commanded by Christ to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, it has nothing to do with my salvation, but getting for myself more reward. I know how that sounds but it's what Christ told us to do. It's also part of the reason I evangelize; every good work that I do stems from my love for Jesus and to gain treasure in heaven, but it doesn't buy me salvation. If I were never a Christian and were on my death bed and repented of my sin and placed my faith in Christ and then died, I would go to heaven, just like the thief.

Muhammad Rasheed - Here's what I'm going to do ["I'm going to put my left foot on the right side of your face"] I'm going to take you by the hand, and bypass all the apostles, and fake apostles, and walk you directly to what the Christ said about the matter... the very person you clam to follow. You will not have a defense against this.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - The reason I asked if you were Muslim is because it would help me understand in part what perspective you are coming from, it has nothing to do with me avoiding your questions. I love these kinds of discussions because they sharpen me. I suspect that you are in fact a Muslim, given that they, like you don't believe the crucifixion story either.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "The reason I asked if you were Muslim is..."

Irrelevant. The perspective I'm using is "What did the Creator command?" The only perspective relevant to those who claim to believe. Stop playing misdirection games.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Irrelevant to you perhaps, but not to me.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - No games are being played, and pray tell, where is this misdirection?

Muhammad Rasheed - It's irrelevant to the topic because asking me those questions don't have anything to do with it. It's just a transparent attempt to talk about something else.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Clearly I'm still talking about everything we've been discussing, so how exactly am I changing the topic? It's a simple question. But it's quite alright if you don't tell me, like I said, I suspect I already know the answer.

Moses Mullins - I agree with most of what you said. However, we are judged not only on our actions, but also our failure to take action. If I stand by and to do stop or at least condemn someone else defacing/burning a mosque or a church, I share their blame. I am an accessory after the fact.

Someone once said that " All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good people to do nothing".

If I do not vote in the upcoming election, then I have increased the tea party votes.

If I do not stand up and speak out for righteousness, then I have amplified those who stand for and speak out for evil.

Like it or not, the leader of any organized group claims to the the spokesperson for all members of that group.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You said that Christianity is works based…”

That was the message of Jesus, as well as the message of his hand-picked heir, reflected in the Epistle of James.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…yet scripture says that we "are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God not of works so that no one may boast."

Is that what Jesus said? No? Then why should I listen to what this person said over Jesus? When the rich man asked Jesus what he needed to do to be saved, did Jesus’ instruction echo this quote?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Yes I agree as the Bible say s that faith without works is dead…”

The evidence is right in your face and you even admit to seeing it. Why do you resist? Do you crave the raging fire of the Pit?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…but the works do not save anyone…”

When the rich man asked Jesus what he needed to do to be saved, what was Jesus’ response? Was it consistent to what you just said?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…the works are the evidence of faith, they don't produce faith.”

Strawman. Who said they “produce faith?” Obviously you must already have faith to perform the practical application of faith in action.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I then gave the example of the thief on the cross, to which you said it was a made up story. From where do you get that?”

Show me an equal story in scripture that backs it up. You will find that it conspicuously stands alone, not only among the four gospels, but the very concept stands alone in all of sacred scripture. It’s clearly a nonsense story.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You then said that our obedience earns our salvation, but nowhere is that said in scripture…”

The rich man asked Jesus what he needed to do in order to be saved. Would the rich man not have had to obey the Christ’s instruction in order to be saved?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…in fact it is repeatedly stated that salvation is a gift.”

Stated by whom?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “ John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Acts 16:31 "So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Romans 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." These say nothing of "earning" salvation, all that is required faith...like the thief on the cross next to Christ on the cross.”

Are these quotes from the Christ Jesus, son of Mary? Tell me if you know.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You imply that I'm like the rich man which couldn't be further from the truth, not that it's any of your concern but I give what little I have to the poor on a regular basis…”

Then you are saved. Congrats. Keep it up.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “..but it doesn't add one bit to my salvation.”

Is that what Jesus said regarding his precise instruction as to how to be saved?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “One of the main reasons I do good works is because we are commanded by Christ to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, it has nothing to do with my salvation, but getting for myself more reward.”

The treasures in heaven ARE your salvation, Warren. The act of being saved is being rewarded with the treasures of paradise. You are being saved from hell. That’s the whole point.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “ I know how that sounds…”

It sounds like you are confused as to the nature of God’s message.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…but it's what Christ told us to do.”

Of course he did! That’s why he was here!

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “It's also part of the reason I evangelize; every good work that I do stems from my love for Jesus and to gain treasure in heaven, but it doesn't buy me salvation.”

That’s EXACTLY what buys the believer salvation: Believe in God, resist sin, do good works.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “If I were never a Christian and were on my death bed and repented of my sin and placed my faith in Christ and then died, I would go to heaven, just like the thief.”

Hell would be your abode. The “have your cake and eat it too” scheme of the death bed conversion doesn’t save anyone.

Muhammad Rasheed - Moses Mullins wrote: “I agree with most of what you said. However, we are judged not only on our actions, but also our failure to take action.”

If you can find that on the list of the 10 Commandments then I’ll believe you. “THOU SHALT NOT FAIL TO TAKE ACTION!”

Moses Mullins wrote: “ If I stand by and to do stop or at least condemn someone else defacing/burning a mosque or a church, I share their blame.”

See above.

Moses Mullins wrote: “I am an accessory after the fact.”

You’re quoting a modern legal speak term, not scripture. My Lord has defined what a sin is and what is not, what I will be judged on and what I will not be judged on. “An accessory after the fact” was never mentioned once.

Moses Mullins wrote: “Someone once said that " All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good people to do nothing".

Was that ‘someone’ one of the messengers of God who added that quote to the canon of revealed scripture?

Moses Mullins wrote: “If I do not vote in the upcoming election, then I have increased the tea party votes.”

Yeah? And if you do vote and we still end up with an all tea party Supreme Court, will you go to hell?

Moses Mullins wrote: “If I do not stand up and speak out for righteousness, then I have amplified those who stand for and speak out for evil.”

So? But will the incident come up during Judgment Day?

Moses Mullins wrote: “Like it or not, the leader of any organized group claims to the the spokesperson for all members of that group.”

Will he stand next to me on Judgment Day and absorb my sins for me?

Moses Mullins - Actually a deathbed conversion has a lot of issues. If you know the truth and reject it until right before you die, you constant rejection of the Holy Spirit's attempts to reach you constitutes the unpardonable sin as given in Romans. You are given over to a reprobate mind.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - My analogy of the deathbed confession was a modern day transposition of the thief on the cross event, for all intent and purposes he was on his deathbed and realized his need of a savior and found Him. It wasn't a blanket statement of every deathbed confession.

Muhammad Rasheed - lol

Muhammad Rasheed - It was clearly the story that inspired people to try it.

Muhammad Rasheed - Hellfire will be their reward for the sneaky effort.

Moses Mullins - Actually if the tea party wins we will all be in hell. Jesus gave us the two summaries of the 10 commandments. He taught that you cannot rely on legalistic tricks to excuse sin. Jesus stated he came to fulfill the law. The religious leaders of that time had lapsed into a ritualistic form of obedience to the law. Jesus showed that the law is more than a set of do's and do not's. It is a way of life. That is why the Jews had burnt offerings. It is impossible to keep the law as a ritual. It must be engraved on your heart.
That is why it would be a sin to fail to act when it is in your power to do so.

Muhammad Rasheed - If you have no time to demonstrate your faith, then what evidence will you show on Judgment day that you did indeed believe?

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Perhaps, but how many people actually succeed at it, unless you're terminally ill no one knows at what hour they will die. Most just get snatched into eternity.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - God is not limited to need to see, man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "Perhaps, but how many people actually succeed at it..."

Not one.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "...unless you're terminally ill no one knows at what hour they will die."

That's the very point. The human lifespan is finite for a reason, and no one knows the hour of their death. Reject the message at your peril. It is the most foolish type of gamble.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - And what message is that?

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "God is not limited to need to see, man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart."

Judgment Day will determine if you believed, and whether your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds.

1.) If you believed and your good deeds outweigh your bad: Paradise.
2.) If you did not believe and your good deeds outweigh your bad: Hell.
3.) If you believed and your good deeds didn't outweigh your bad: Hell.

Period.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III: "And what message is that?"

Believe in the One God, resist the temptations of sin, do good works. If you slip up and commit a sin, repent.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - It is not the will of God that any perish, but that all come to repentance. This is the desire of God, if a person makes a sincere deathbed confession, who are we to say that God ignores it. Given that life is finite and we could all die at any moment, every confession is a deathbed confession even if we're standing up. We could be healthy as is possible, repent and confess our faith in Christ and then drop dead. Where then do you suppose those who do that go?

Warren Eugene Merrick III - They had no time to do any good deeds, they were healthy and expected to live another 50 or 60 years but as soon as they repented and confessed their faith in Jesus they died. Where do they go?

Muhammad Rasheed - Moses Mullins wrote: “Actually if the tea party wins we will all be in hell.”

A metaphorical ‘hell on earth’ isn’t the same.

Moses Mullins wrote: “Jesus gave us the two summaries of the 10 commandments. He taught that you cannot rely on legalistic tricks to excuse sin.”

Only God can excuse sin, and He’s the one who said what they were or not.

Moses Mullins wrote: “Jesus stated he came to fulfill the law.”

What does it mean to “fulfill the Law?”

Moses Mullins wrote: “The religious leaders of that time had lapsed into a ritualistic form of obedience to the law. Jesus showed that the law is more than a set of do's and do not's. It is a way of life. That is why the Jews had burnt offerings.”

The problem was that they lacked mercy, and performed only the letter of the Law and not the spirit of it in their earthly judgments among the people.

Moses Mullins wrote: “It is impossible to keep the law as a ritual.”
Based on what? The prophets’ example demonstrated that it could indeed be done, that was part of their mission.

Moses Mullins wrote: “It must be engraved on your heart. That is why it would be a sin to fail to act when it is in your power to do so.”

It would be the right thing as far as taking care of where you live, but it would not be a sin. No one will be judged for the Free Will actions of another.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - This is why works can't save you, this is why you need a savior.

Muhammad Rasheed - What is why?

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Read my above comments.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “It is not the will of God that any perish, but that all come to repentance.”

The will of God is what actually takes place in reality, Warren. If it is not in His will it quite simply doesn’t happen.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “This is the desire of God…”

The desire of God is what He has put in place: That we all use the gift of Free Will to make the choices we want to make. In the end we will be judged according to those choices.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…if a person makes a sincere deathbed confession, who are we to say that God ignores it.”

“Ignoring a sincere confession” is yet another strawman. Did I say He would ignore it? No. They will be judged, and found wanting and regretting that they didn’t confess earlier as they fall down into the Pit.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Given that life is finite and we could all die at any moment, every confession is a deathbed confession even if we're standing up. “

You’re being silly. The deathbed conversion is when you know your life span is up and you try to sneak the conversion in at the wire. Stop trying to reinvent the phrase’s meaning.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “We could be healthy as is possible, repent and confess our faith in Christ and then drop dead. Where then do you suppose those who do that go?”

I’m pretty sure I said “Period.”

Warren Eugene Merrick III - You cannot earn something that is freely given, it doesn't matter how many good works you bring before God, "All of our righteousness are as filthy rags."

Muhammad Rasheed - Who are you quoting? Jesus?

Muhammad Rasheed – So Jesus said this one thing, but this person you are quoting said the opposite. Which one are you hinging your salvation upon and why?

Warren Eugene Merrick III - I'm not being silly at all. You said that a persons good deeds will be weighed against their bad, what if they come to faith while their young (say early twenties) and die right after? Where do they go, or are you telling me that that never happens? You were the one who pointed out the finiteness of life, this was your point. Given that all of us could die at any moment, every confession of faith could be the very last thing a person does, they had no time to do any good works so where do they go?

Muhammad Rasheed - If you believe, but your deed record does not reflect it, you will go to hell.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - You're not addressing the crux of this question. A young person who wasn't religious but suddenly felt the call of God on his life and responds by repentance and faith dies right after, you're telling me that he goes to hell because he didn't do any good deeds? That's the problem with believing in a works based religion, there is no assurance of salvation, because how can you know if you've ever done enough? Do you know, can you say with any degree of certainty that when you die you'll go to heaven?

Warren Eugene Merrick III - I'm actually asking you that question, it's not rhetorical.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You're not addressing the crux of this question. A young person who wasn't religious but suddenly felt the call of God on his life and responds by repentance and faith dies right after, you're telling me that he goes to hell because he didn't do any good deeds?”

I fail to see how I didn’t address it. It seems like I point blank answered it.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “That's the problem with believing in a works based religion, there is no assurance of salvation…”

That’s an interesting statement. The problem with your faith-alone based doctrine is that not a single quote you gave for it came from Jesus, and in fact, the Christ’s actual instruction regarding how we become saved is not a faith-alone concept. So where does YOUR assurance come from if the being you claim to follow never propagated that doctrine?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…because how can you know if you've ever done enough?”

If you make sure you repent of any sin you do, your good deeds will always be heavier on the Cosmic Scale. Easy.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Do you know, can you say with any degree of certainty that when you die you'll go to heaven?”

Of course! God’s message is true. If I simply do as He commands I will achieve the reward of paradise. I will have no need to fear, nor shall I grieve.

Now with His infinite mercy it’s possible that the kid you described in the scenario could win free to a lower level of heaven (spending eternity hanging up peoples’ jackets in the coat room), but that is God’s department. All I know for sure is the raw judgment aspect that the normal cases will fall under.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "I'm actually asking you that question, it's not rhetorical."

Ironic considering how often you ignore my questions. Psh.

Moses Mullins - Jesus fulfilled the law by living it and becoming the only person who ever kept the entire law. Therefore when he summarized them, he showed us that the role of the law is to show us the ideal to which we aspire. Countless good men & women have aspired to "love the Lord thy God" and to "love thy neighbor as thine self. They have never been able to be perfect as Jesus and keep the entire law.
You are right that "The problem was that they lacked mercy, and performed only the letter of the Law and not the spirit of it in their earthly judgments among the people." That and the many ceremonial and other rules were never part of the law.
If you love your neighbor as yourself, you would act when it is in your power to aid them. Just as you would look out for your own best interests. Failure to do so is a violation of the commandment to love thy neighbor as thine self.
The serpent is who caused Cain to ask "Am I my brother's keeper?".
Your choices and free will actions are who you are. Making the choice to not be your brother's keeper reflects who you are and what type of spirit lives in you.
We do have free will and we are responsible for our exercise of it. That is why some Germans risked their lives to save some Jews in nazi Germany. that is why some whites risked their lives to help operate the Underground Railroad.
We chose many times to help others. But we also chose many times to not help others. It is those choices that will be examined on Judgement Day.
Jesus illustrated this principle in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Whether or not we wish to say that the others that did not help committed a sin, it is clear that they did not possess the spirit of love that we are told to embrace.

Also you mentioned about deathbed conversions. The case of someone dying without warning after they are born again and someone choosing to wait until they know they are dying to ask for salvation are two different things. In the first case, the person did not wait until he knew he was at death's door to be reborn. In the second case the person tries to play with God's mercy. Praying to be saved is just empty air without true repentance. True repentance is exemplified by a change in your life. If you die suddenly before putting that change into action, God knows that you were sincere. Waiting until you know you are dying, God knows that you don't have true repentance because you never meant to make a change. That's like promising your wife you won't have sex with another woman for a year, right before you go to serve a 12 month prison sentence. You know you won't have the chance to do it anyway, so you can make that promise. Your wife wants that promise when you are in a position to break it. then by not breaking it, she knows you are sincere. God is at least as wise as a wife.

Muhammad Rasheed - Moses Mullins wrote: “Jesus fulfilled the law by living it and becoming the only person who ever kept the entire law.”

Where’d you get that from? It was the job of all of God’s messengers’ to confirm and fulfill the message that came before them.

Moses Mullins wrote: “Countless good men & women have aspired to "love the Lord thy God" and to "love thy neighbor as thine self. They have never been able to be perfect as Jesus and keep the entire law.”

How do you know?

Moses Mullins wrote: “If you love your neighbor as yourself, you would act when it is in your power to aid them. Just as you would look out for your own best interests. Failure to do so is a violation of the commandment to love thy neighbor as thine self.”

I can accept this. Aiding someone in need is a part of charity.

Moses Mullins wrote: “The serpent is who caused Cain to ask ‘Am I my brother's keeper?’”

The adversary doesn’t cause anyone to do anything. He can only suggest. We use our Free Will to intentionally do all we do.

Moses Mullins wrote: “Your choices and free will actions are who you are. Making the choice to not be your brother's keeper reflects who you are and what type of spirit lives in you.”

I have no right to get in the way of someone else exercising their Free Will.

Moses Mullins wrote: “We chose many times to help others. But we also chose many times to not help others. It is those choices that will be examined on Judgement Day.'

Choosing to aid someone is an act of charity. Doing so goes on your record as a credit. There isn’t a column full of things you didn’t act on. If you have the opportunity to aid someone but failed to act on it, that is a missed good deed that could’ve weighed down the scale in your favor. Not acting is only reflected in the might have been, especially if there are unforgivable sins weighing down the other side.

Moses Mullins wrote: “Jesus illustrated this principle in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Whether or not we wish to say that the others that did not help committed a sin, it is clear that they did not possess the spirit of love that we are told to embrace.”

The seven levels of heaven reflect the seven levels of reward for the different believers on various levels of spiritual maturity. Those who have embraced the spirit of love in their hearts will enjoy a greater reward than those whose record reflects a colder tally of raw obedience to the Creator’s message, but they will not be punished for not acting in those moments, they merely shortchanged their reward.

Moses Mullins wrote: “Also you mentioned about deathbed conversions. The case of someone dying without warning after they are born again and someone choosing to wait until they know they are dying to ask for salvation are two different things.”

Yes, the latter can be assured of hellfire, while the former’s case is more complex. That one’s fate will rely solely on the divine Mercy of the Court and the Omniscient insight the Lord possesses. That’s why He is the Judge.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - heres some questions u religions people if god goes through such great lengths to put the"word" out. why doesn't he just put that shit on a rock in the middle of a town? why is it always on man who can communicate with god when no one is lookin?

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - Why we have to wait for jesus to come back? no matter how good any one is, it don't mean shit cause jesus aint here.

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "heres some questions u religions people if god goes through such great lengths to put the"word" out. why doesn't he just put that shit on a rock in the middle of a town? why is it always on man who can communicate with god when no one is lookin?"

Faith/belief is the activating principle. That demands that it has to be one of us that gives the message.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - not sure that made sense

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "Why we have to wait for jesus to come back? no matter how good any one is, it don't mean shit cause jesus aint here."

Jesus is only returning on Judgment Day to bear witness for/against the people he personally preached to during his lifetime.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - jesus ain't been here in ages those people just stitting around waiting for him? why is there a hell when the things done to get you there often have extenuating circumstances

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "not sure that made sense"

When the people of old used to complain as to how the prophets were supposed to be messengers of God when they were but mere men, God replied that if the earth had of been peopled with angels, He would've sent an angel instead.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - but people don't believe men, gods plan is so shaky it sounds like he wants people to go to hell?

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "jesus ain't been here in ages those people just stitting around waiting for him?"

Yes. In the grave. Judgment will happen after we are all Resurrected.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "why is there a hell when the things done to get you there often have extenuating circumstances"

What do you mean?

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - well like if i'm in a war and i kill some one, well is that hell worthy? what about stealing to keep from starving, how about if you are a worker in Indonesia and your tired of putting clothes together for next to nothing and you steal several hats and shirts and sell them your self

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "but people don't believe men, gods plan is so shaky it sounds like he wants people to go to hell?"

Some will be rewarded while some will be punished. Each is free to use their Free Will as they see fit. In the end, despite what the Christians claim, those who get to go to paradise will have earned it by taking that chance. Those who arrogantly refused to give it a shot, will have earned hell.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - why would god make people wait hundreds or thousands of years, or even a day in the ground?

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - what happens if your grave is removed, what about cremation

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - but isn't that a catch 22, its not arrogant not to believe something some guy told you

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - cause all men lie, who believes a liar? they need some reason to make them believable. maybe thats what "faith without works is dead" means because i wouldn't believe anyone tell me shit without a good list of shit thats good they did. and even at that there are plenty of abuses of power like all those priest and the church that protects them

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "why would god make people wait hundreds or thousands of years, or even a day in the ground?"

You're dead. Do you think you will notice the passage of time?

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - and i know there are gay muslims, murdering musllims, stealing lying thieving muslims but they never let that stuff out in public but they are there

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - yea why wouldn't you. do your senses just not work? hows that work anyway. if your soul is not a physical body how does it see hear or smell those all rely on physical stimuli

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "well like if i'm in a war and i kill some one, well is that hell worthy?"

A single sin isn't 'hell worthy.' Hell worthy is the package of disbelief and more sins than righteous deeds. If your life looks like that when you die, that will be hell worthy.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: " what about stealing to keep from starving, how about if you are a worker in Indonesia and your tired of putting clothes together for next to nothing and you steal several hats and shirts and sell them your self"

In cases of extreme choices just for raw survival you will not be blamed. It's still better to repent once you make your way out of those circumstances though.

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "what happens if your grave is removed, what about cremation"

The people of old used to incredulously wonder about the resurrection, too. God's response was that He created them from scratch/nothing in the first place, so why would they think it would somehow be harder to resurrect them?

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "but isn't that a catch 22, its not arrogant not to believe something some guy told you"

You have to be pretty humble to deliberately supplant your natural skepticism don't you think?

Kamau Mkafele Mshale - what about suicide @_@. because those answers still sound suspect (i guess as long as i pic a religion and do some thing nice for every terrible thing i do i'm gold) but the guy who commited suicide by self immolation durring the vietnam war, the monk whos name i can't remember at the moment, did a beautiful kind and loving act that helped his people. lots of people, including jesus have died intentionally to help others. isn't that still suicide?

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: and i know there are gay muslims, murdering musllims, stealing lying thieving muslims but they never let that stuff out in public but they are there"

And every one of them will be judged on the Last Day. If their bad deeds outweigh their good deeds, in hell they will dwell.

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "yea why wouldn't you. do your senses just not work?"

Your senses are connected to the living body that is now dead.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "hows that work anyway. if your soul is not a physical body how does it see hear or smell those all rely on physical stimuli"

The death event will function as a long sleep. Your consciousness will be dormant. God calls sleep "the twin brother of death" for a reason.

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "cause all men lie, who believes a liar? they need some reason to make them believable. maybe thats what "faith without works is dead" means because i wouldn't believe anyone tell me shit without a good list of shit thats good they did. and even at that there are plenty of abuses of power like all those priest and the church that protects them"

That's why it's important to "study to show yourself approved" and not just take people's word for it.

Muhammad Rasheed - Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "what about suicide @_@."

Hellfire. Suicide is the ultimate act of disbelief and hopelessness.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "because those answers still sound suspect (i guess as long as i pic a religion and do some thing nice for every terrible thing i do i'm gold)"

Repent of the bad deeds, and do TWO good deeds for every one bad deed to be safe.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "but the guy who commited suicide by self immolation durring the vietnam war..."

Hell.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "...the monk whos name i can't remember at the moment, did a beautiful kind and loving act that helped his people."

Hell.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "lots of people..."

Hell for all.

Kamau Mkafele Mshale wrote: "...including jesus have died intentionally to help others. isn't that still suicide?"

That incident isn't a part of my belief system.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - I've answered all your questions. Where do you get this "cosmic scale of justice" from? Where is that written? From where do you get this "lower level of heaven

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "I've answered all your questions."

When?

Warren Eugene Merrick III - The entire Bible is God inspired, the words don't have to come from Christ to be God's words. You're taking one verse from scripture and taking it completely out of context, you cannot sum up the whole of Jesus' teaching with just this one story. You say that good works get you into heaven, lets say a criminal, a rapist murderer gets arrested five years after his crime but had turned his life around after he committed the crime; when he stands before the judge will that judge take into account the good he's done or will he judge him based on the law? To say that God lets people in because of good works is to liken him to a corrupt judge who can be bribed. That's not God, that's an idol of your own making. To stand before God and say "Here are my good deeds, let me in." Is to bribe the God of creation. Every question throughout this feed that you asked me I have addressed, and if I've missed any feel free to ask again.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "The entire Bible is God inspired, the words don't have to come from Christ to be God's words."

It was the Christ's job to instruct us in wisdom and scripture. He was the anointed messenger. I'm SUPPOSED to listen to him. When another guy shows up with a message that is literally 180° different than what the Christ actually taught, that's a problem to me. It means that one of the two of them is the false prophet. Common sense.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "You're taking one verse from scripture and taking it completely out of context, you cannot sum up the whole of Jesus' teaching with just this one story."

Why not? A man point blank asked Jesus Christ what he needed to do in order to be saved and the messenger of God TOLD HIM WHAT HE NEEDED TO DO. Do you hear yourself? Why CAN'T I sum up the whole message of God using his instructions considering that was his JOB?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "You say that good works get you into heaven..."

That's one of the things that will get you into heaven, including resisting temptations of sin, believing in God, and repenting when you slip up and sin. The combination of these as a lifestyle will guarantee paradise. The rituals of organized religion are designed to make these items lifestyle.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "...lets say a criminal, a rapist murderer gets arrested five years after his crime but had turned his life around after he committed the crime"

Does 'turned his life around' mean he repented of his sin, believes in God, and did good works for the last five years?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "...when he stands before the judge will that judge take into account the good he's done or will he judge him based on the law?"

If he did all the things I just posted above then he will be in right standing with his Lord and will achieve paradise. He will have no need to fear, nor shall he grieve.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "To say that God lets people in because of good works is to liken him to a corrupt judge who can be bribed. That's not God, that's an idol of your own making. To stand before God and say "Here are my good deeds, let me in." Is to bribe the God of creation."

It seems like you don't really understand the nature of what Jesus told that guy, and why it was significant.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: "Every question throughout this feed that you asked me I have addressed, and if I've missed any feel free to ask again."

Let's start with the very first one. You said that I took a great deal of what you said out of context with my first response to your posts. I asked, "Which?"

Silence from you.


Warren Eugene Merrick III - You're calling Paul a false prophet! Seriously! I suspect you agree with James because it fits with your idea of God. To be clear, I don't disagree with what James says, I disagree with your interpretation of what he says. Works do not save anyone, faith saves and when one has faith, works follow. I have to ask this, what then is your take on the other apostles, are they false prophets as well or is it only those who seem to have a view contrary to yours? You want the words of Jesus, here you go John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Pay close attention to the last two versus. How is the world saved, through Christ. And He goes on to explain how that works... By believing in Him. That right there is faith, from the mouth of Jesus Himself, nothing is said of "earning" or "working" for salvation. The example I gave was of an earthly court not heavenly. This was a criminal, guilty and before the judge, he cleaned up his life but was still guilty of the crime. Does the the judge let him off because he apologized or does he still go to prison, it's a simple question. You say that I don't understand the nature of what Jesus told the guy, you don't understand the nature of Jesus...period. He came to die for the sin of mankind so that we would not have to pay the penalty for those sins, all that is required to have our case dismissed is faith in what He did on the cross. And despite what lies you believe, Jesus did die on that cross and He did rise from the dead three days later.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You're calling Paul a false prophet! Seriously!”

Everything you quoted from Paul earlier directly contradicted what Jesus said. Do you follow Paul or Jesus? Whichever one you don’t pick is the false prophet.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I suspect you agree with James because it fits with your idea of God.”

Not MY idea. James the Just, leader of the first church of Jerusalem propagated the actual message of the Christ. Paul was James' rival and his message was the opposite of the Christ’s.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “To be clear, I don't disagree with what James says, I disagree with your interpretation of what he says. Works do not save anyone…”

lol

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…faith saves and when one has faith, works follow.”

Your good works ARE your faith. Without them you are going to hell because you have nothing to stand on. Nothing to prove you had faith.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I have to ask this, what then is your take on the other apostles, are they false prophets as well or is it only those who seem to have a view contrary to yours?”

Just Paul. The 12 companions of Jesus were all righteous men who recognized the Christ’s message as true, followed him and earned their place in paradise.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You want the words of Jesus, here you go John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

That’s not Jesus. That’s the fictionalized words of an evangelist who was a follower of Paul, whose sermon was put into the gospel of John. The entire NT has Paul’s taint upon it like that. Most of it was either written by him, or written by his later followers. I can’t use it except in those brief areas where they happened to actually quote Jesus for real (see: rich man dialog).

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Pay close attention to the last two versus. How is the world saved, through Christ. And He goes on to explain how that works... By believing in Him.”

Jesus Christ, son of Mary is the messenger of God. His job was to instruct the people in wisdom and scripture so they would spiritually prosper. If you lived during the time period, where else would you get the message of God from? You HAD to go through Jesus, exactly in the way the rich man did. You ask him and he would tell you the truth… the same truth of God’s Word all the other messengers would’ve told you: Believe in God, resist temptation of sin, do good works, repent when you mess up.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “That right there is faith, from the mouth of Jesus Himself, nothing is said of "earning" or "working" for salvation.”

He SURE told the rich man he had to earn his salvation with very precise instructions, didn’t he?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “The example I gave was of an earthly court not heavenly. This was a criminal, guilty and before the judge, he cleaned up his life but was still guilty of the crime. Does the the judge let him off because he apologized or does he still go to prison, it's a simple question.”

Who cares what an earthly judge thinks? Is he Omniscient? Is he the Master of the Day of Judgment? Does he have an eternal heaven or hell to put this man in? Then how could this scenario possibly be relevant to the topic? God is the Judge, Warren. Stop trying to misdirect all the time.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You say that I don't understand the nature of what Jesus told the guy…”

You don’t, and it obviously makes you… and the so-called “Saint” Paul… uncomfortable. That’s why you refuse to acknowledge the lesson.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…you don't understand the nature of Jesus...period.”

I know Jesus Christ better than anyone you know.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “He came to die for the sin of mankind so that we would not have to pay the penalty for those sins, all that is required to have our case dismissed is faith in what He did on the cross. And despite what lies you believe, Jesus did die on that cross and He did rise from the dead three days later.”

God anointed Jesus to instruct his people in the Gospel, to teach scripture and wisdom. The same job that the entire Brotherhood of messengers of God had. That was the pact they had with their Creator, to receive His message and teach it to the people. Period.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - That which was taken out of context was the story of the young rich ruler. The rituals don't mean anything, Galatians 4:9-11 "But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain." Ritual doesn't save you and if it's done in worship of a false god, even less so. I suspect that you approach the Bible with an Islamic perspective, as though the Koran or an Imam can speak with authority on the historicity of the Bible or Jesus. The Bible was (New Testament) was written by the apostles of Jesus who witnessed all those things that transpired, why should we believe what's said about Jesus from the writings of a book that didn't come about until six centuries later?

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “That which was taken out of context was the story of the young rich ruler.”

You said there was much taken out of context. Show me the proper context, please, and then show me where my interpretation strayed.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “The rituals don't mean anything, Galatians 4:9-11 ‘But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.’”

More Paul? Jesus specifically told the rich man that he needed to keep the commandments in order to be saved, yet Paul believes he had the right to cancel the messenger’s precise instruction. Tell me, O Christian, do you worship Paul or the Christ?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Ritual doesn't save you and if it's done in worship of a false god, even less so.”

Was the rich man keeping the commandments in the name of a false deity?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I suspect that you approach the Bible with an Islamic perspective, as though the Koran or an Imam can speak with authority on the historicity of the Bible or Jesus.”

For our purposes, my sources are official Christian scholars, including those who’ve compiled, translated, and edited the bible itself.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “The Bible was (New Testament) was written by the apostles of Jesus who witnessed all those things that transpired…”

Not according to the official Christian scholars who compiled, translated, and edited the bible itself.  Your knowledge is significantly inferior to theirs.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…why should we believe what's said about Jesus from the writings of a book that didn't come about until six centuries later?”

I’ll play this game briefly. The Qur’an was revealed to the messenger of God and, in the usual routine, confirmed and fulfilled the messages that came before it, the same as the message of Jesus confirmed and fulfilled the Law that came centuries before him. Weird how the weight of the centuries has you talking that way. Do you understand how your own religion works?

Warren Eugene Merrick III - Works are not faith, faith produces works but they are not the same, otherwise those who did not repent and believe but had works could have faith attributed to them. Your statement is utter nonsense. You say that I need works because without them I have nothing to prove that I had faith?! What god do you serve that he is so blind that he cannot see a mans heart. God does not need to see good works, man judges the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. On what authority do say that those words were not of Christ? The Koran, a book written 600 years after the time of Christ, to believe that over the eye witness accounts of the apostles is ludicrous. You say that the 12 that followed Jesus were righteous men, and that that verse has Paul's hand all over it, but Paul did not become a believer until after the resurrection of Christ. I'm not trying to misdirect you, if you are so easily misdirected by a simple question and can't see the relevance than I must conclude that you don't know as well what you think you know. The question is simple and the parallel is clear. If an earthly judge will not disregard the law because of good deeds, how much less will a just and holy God. Your good works apart from faith in Christ will get you nothing but the fire of hell. You don't know Jesus at all, you my friend are lost and in your sin, if you were to die right now you would go to hell. You say that you know Jesus better than anyone, but you don't. If you're a Muslim as I suspect and you believe that Jesus was a prophet, then you also believe that as such Jesus could not lie. But why as he was tempted in the wilderness by the devil, did he tell satan that he should not put God to the test, the implication being that Jesus was God? Why didn't Jesus refuse worship after he healed people? If he was only a prophet as you suppose how could He do all those things? You need to repent and place your faith in Jesus and stop trusting in your works, they cannot and will not save you.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - We should believe the Bible because the prophecies of Christ were fulfilled to a T, there were no such prophecies concerning the false prophet Mohammed. And it is not the same message as the message of Jesus. Jesus' own message was that He came into the world to save the world through Himself, Mohammed can't save anyone.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Works are not faith…”

Works are the practical application of your faith. Without them, your faith is dead. Without the works to back your claims, you are just doing empty talking that will only win you hellfire.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “faith produces works but they are not the same, otherwise those who did not repent and believe but had works could have faith attributed to them.”

If you fail to repent of your sin, they will be measured against your good works on Judgment Day.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Your statement is utter nonsense. You say that I need works because without them I have nothing to prove that I had faith?!”

“Faith without works is dead.” It’s in your book. Look it up.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “What god do you serve that he is so blind that he cannot see a mans heart. God does not need to see good works, man judges the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.”

When the rich man asked Jesus what did he need to do in order to be saved, what did Jesus tell him? Did the Christ ask him if he had faith, and if so, it’s all good?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “On what authority do say that those words were not of Christ? The Koran, a book written 600 years after the time of Christ, to believe that over the eye witness accounts of the apostles is ludicrous.”

The official Christian scholars acknowledge it is foolish to believe that the four gospels were actually written by the men whom they are attributed to.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You say that the 12 that followed Jesus were righteous men, and that that verse has Paul's hand all over it, but Paul did not become a believer until after the resurrection of Christ.”

The four gospels were written way after Paul’s death. Sorry. At this point I’m waiting for you to ask me the hard questions.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I'm not trying to misdirect you…”

I know, you can’t help it.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…if you are so easily misdirected by a simple question…”

How was I misdirected when I recognized you doing it, called you on it, and asked that you stick to the topic?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…and can't see the relevance than I must conclude that you don't know as well what you think you know.”

So you genuinely think a human judge’s insight is the same as that of The Greatest Judge of All? That in a nutshell is the problem with the pauline Christian.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “The question is simple and the parallel is clear. If an earthly judge will not disregard the law because of good deeds…”

God is perfect, never makes mistakes, and literally knows every single thing there is to know about you. The human judge comes up short of that and often makes bad and unfair judgments. See how it works?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…how much less will a just and holy God. Your good works apart from faith in Christ will get you nothing but the fire of hell.”

Quite a few times I paired the good works with belief in God, didn’t I, Warren?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You don't know Jesus at all…”

Okay.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…you my friend are lost and in your sin…”

I’ve repented of my sin.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…if you were to die right now you would go to hell.”

Wow. That’s a heck of an upgrade in rank and status you’ve just received. Are you god now? Amazing. How did you do that?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You say that you know Jesus better than anyone…”

Anyone YOU know. Y’all are all Protestants, right? *nods*

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…but you don't.”

Okay.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “If you're a Muslim as I suspect and you believe that Jesus was a prophet, then you also believe that as such Jesus could not lie.”

He did not. He COULD lie if he wanted, but he didn’t. He was better than that, and lived to a higher standard.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “But why as he was tempted in the wilderness by the devil, did he tell satan that he should not put God to the test, the implication being that Jesus was God?”

“Implications?” So you hinge your very soul’s salvation upon “implications” and ignore the precise and clear as day instruction to the rich man? Are you a fool?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Why didn't Jesus refuse worship after he healed people?”

The ‘divine Jesus’ doctrine was invented by Paul. That is the taint the NT possesses.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “If he was only a prophet as you suppose how could He do all those things?”

Like Moses before him, the Christ performed miracles through the will and permission of the Lord Most High he served. Duh.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You need to repent and place your faith in Jesus and stop trusting in your works, they cannot and will not save you.”

You need to repent of subscribing sons & partners to the One God (truly He hates that), repent of your sins, continue to do good works and bow down to Him in true, uncompromising monotheistic worship that you may prosper.

Warren Eugene Merrick III - This will be the final thing I say to you concerning this. Repentance is not enough, just like standing before a human judge and saying you're sorry for your crime isn't enough. Faith in Christ is what saves a soul from hell, good works are the fruit of that faith not the cause. I've given you several verses that say this, some of which came from the mouth of Christ Himself and all you've given me is one scripture taken completely out of context. You don't know Jesus and if you think you do you've only deceived yourself. Mohammed is in hell, Allah can't save anybody and neither do good works. Christ said it best when He said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through ME." Jesus The Risen Christ is the only means of salvation, all those that try to enter in some other way will be shut out of the kingdom and cast into outer darkness. You are on the broad road that leads to destruction, you need to get on the narrow road that leads to life. I have done my due diligence, I've presented to you the true Christ and not the fictional one you speak of, the choice is now up to you whether to believe the truth that I've given you or the lie that you can earn that which God freely gives. It's up to you. Good day.

Muhammad Rasheed - Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “This will be the final thing I say to you concerning this.”

Alright. I was surprised when you came back anyway.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Repentance is not enough…”

I had a conversation recently in which I was reminded that the blood sacrifice… at least once in your lifetime… is needed to go along with it. But I’m not sure if that’s what that is for.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…just like standing before a human judge and saying you're sorry for your crime isn't enough. Faith in Christ is what saves a soul from hell, good works are the fruit of that faith not the cause.”

“The cause” is a strawman. Or you are confused. But I’m willing to accept “good works are the fruit of faith” as an accurate interpretation though.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I've given you several verses that say this…”

You’ve given me a lot of quotes from your pet false prophet.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…some of which came from the mouth of Christ Himself and all you've given me is one scripture taken completely out of context.”

Interesting how you casually poo-poo one of the few actual legit quotes from the person you claim to follow, and instead accept everything the false prophet and his minions regurgitated. Wow.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “You don't know Jesus and if you think you do you've only deceived yourself. Mohammed is in hell, Allah can't save anybody…”

You know that Arabic-speaking Christians call God “Allah,” right? It’s not a proper name it’s a title meaning “The God.” Allah is the One God of Abraham. The God of Israel, the One who created Jesus from scratch in his mother’s womb. I would watch your mouth if I were you.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “…and neither do good works.”

When the rich man asked Jesus what he needed to do to be saved, what was the Christ’s reply?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Christ said it best when He said ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through ME.’"

He was the messenger of God so, of course. That was true of all the messengers. We wouldn’t even have the scripture if it wasn’t for it being preached by them.

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “Jesus The Risen Christ is the only means of salvation, all those that try to enter in some other way will be shut out of the kingdom and cast into outer darkness. You are on the broad road that leads to destruction, you need to get on the narrow road that leads to life.”

I’ll be alright.  Between the two of us, I'm the only one with the assurance of my Lord's promise.  You're the one who decided to take your chances with wishy-washy "implications."   smh

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I have done my due diligence…”

Have you?

Warren Eugene Merrick III wrote: “I've presented to you the true Christ and not the fictional one you speak of, the choice is now up to you whether to believe the truth that I've given you or the lie that you can earn that which God freely gives. It's up to you. Good day.”

Have a good day, Warren. I pray that the seeds I’ve planted will take root and you will actually learn what it is your Lord requires of you. Until then… Peace.

See Also: 


Standing on the Cross: Reverend Daniels versus the New Age, pt 1 of 2

Fundamentalism Isn't Really About the Bible; It's About Politics